But with kids in tow, there must be space to run round.
So this is a list of historic houses that 200 years ago were in little villages and are NOW in London.
All with massive gardens or parkland so perfect places to hang out on a weekend or in the holidays.
Go with friends. Meet up from different parts of London.
Take a picnic. Explore. Run wild. Chill out. And enjoy!
And even better a good number of them are FREE. Hurrah!
London’s Historic Houses With Space To Run Round
Now, advance warning, this is a mega list.
There are so many amazing historic houses in little old London you ain’t heard of!
So to help you pick, I’ve organised the list by area.
And summarised key attractions of each. You can then click through for more details.
And at the bottom I’ve highlighted all the FREE ones!
PLUS those FREE with an English Heritage Card or National Trust Card.
AND any that offer discounts for these cards.
How helpful is that?
Oh … and You Don’t Need A Car
Even more helpful …
I’ve also included loads of public transport details.
So you can leave the car at home – us Londoners are all poisoning ourselves right now! – and make the journey part of the adventure for your kids.
Even if your kids aren’t great walkers, I bet they can scoot a mile in under 10 minutes!
Any questions at all, just drop me a comment.
Or pop over and chat at Family Fun London on Facebook.
OK, here goes, amazing historic houses in London where your kids can have a good run around …
1. South London Historic Houses
And it has Tudor, Jacobean, Palladian and Victorian gems you’ve not heard of!
- Morden Hall pretty park with mill by river Wandle, close to Dene City Farm
- Hall Place Tudor house by river Cray with butterflies & owls
- Eltham Palace Old Tudor palace, then uber glamorous 1930s mansion
- Down House Darwin’s house set in beautiful valley in north Downs
- Danson House Palladian hill top villa overlooking park with playgrounds & splash pool
- Red House William Morris’ south London house, by Danson park, lots of National Trust activities
- Charlton House secret Jacobean mansion with gardens in local park, London’s most haunted!
- Queen’s House lots of art in free museum in Greenwich park
Find out more about all of these south London historic houses …
2. East London Historic Houses
- Valentines Mansion stunning house & water gardens, where kids can go back to Victorian times
- Clissold House Georgian house in popular park with transport links across London
- Eastbury Manor Elizabethan merchant’s house with lots of National Trust run activities
- Valence House Medieval manor housing local museum covering history from Romans to today
- Rainham Hall Pretty National Trust run Queen Ann House close to fab Rainham Marshes
- Queen Elizabeth Lodge hunting lodge with Tudor museum on edge of 8 mile Epping Forest
Find out more about all of these east London historic houses …
3. North London Historic Houses
North London has some well known historic houses but some of it’s own secret gems as well …
- Forty Hall hands on, dress up history for kids in Jacobean mansion with lovely grounds
- Kenwood House a whistle-stop tour of classic art before you run wild on Hampstead Heath
- Fenton House pretty house, gardens and orchards right by Hampstead Heath
- Trent Park a big old park (house being restored) right by tube, with Go Ape zip wire
- Capel Manor House peaceful manor house and gardens, good for pottering with littlies
- Copped Hall see history in action (including archeological dig) as this grand house is restored
- Apsley House explore Wellington’s fancy home then hit Hyde Park and swim in the Serpentine
- Bruce Castle local history museum in 16th Century house in local park with paddling pool
Find out more about all of these north London historic houses …
4. West London Historic Houses
West London has some of our grandest and most well known historic houses, but I’m sure there are some you’ve missed …
- Fulham Palace Thousand year old bishop’s palace by Putney Bridge with lots of free family fun
- Marble Hill 18th Century river side villa with pretty furnishings and ferry over the Thames
- Ham House explore life “below stairs” at big 17th Century National Trust riverside house
- Strawberry Hill crazy gothic “castle” like nothing else in London
- Syon Park real Duke’s house in London with stunning grounds and riverside meadows
- Osterley Park Georgian palace surrounded by farmland and munching cows
- Chiswick House exquisite villa in lakeland grounds hosts circus in summer
- Boston Manor forgotten Jacobbean gem lost in time by the river Brent
- Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII’s magnificent palace where he wooed a wife or … six!
Find out more about all of these west London historic houses …
5. Free Historic Houses in London
You don’t need me to tell you days out in London can get pricey!
But luckily a third of the historic houses in this list are free …
- Fulham Palace, Fulham
- Valentine Mansion, Ilford
- Morden Hall, Mitcham
- Forty Hall, Enfield
- Clissold House, Stoke Newington
- Valance House, Barking
- Charlton House, Charlton
- Queen’s House, Greenwich
- Kenwood House, Highgate
- Boston Manor, Brentford
And another 10 are free with an English Heritage or National Trust card.
Now these cards aren’t cheap but with just two or three days out a year, you’ve covered the cost.
We’ve certainly had our money’s worth out of our cards in London and around the country.
6. English Heritage
- Eltham Palace, Greenwich
- Down House, Bromley
- Kenwood House, Highgate *FREE
- Aspley House, Victoria
- Marble Hill, Twickenham
7. National Trust
These historic houses are run by the National Trust and offer free entry to National Trust members:
- Morden Hall, Mitcham *FREE
- Red House, Bexley
- Eastbury Manor, Barking
- Rainham Hall, Havering
- Fenton House, Camden
8. Historic London Houses Offering Discounts
- Hall Place, Bexley – half price with NT card
- Strawberry Hill, Twickenham – half price with NT or EH card
So there you go ….
… an enormous list of historic houses in London with great grounds for kids to explore.
To help you plan your trips you’ll find loads more details in the links below …
- south London historic houses
- east London historic houses
- north London historic houses
- west London historic houses
I really hope this list helps you enjoy some fun family days out in London.
Do pop over to Family Fun London on Facebook and share your photos – I’d love to see where you go …